Small Business Saturday is coming up soon. We all know the drill:

  • Small business owners should be finalizing (or last-minute preparing) plans to promote their businesses. Get Small Business Saturday promotional ideas here.
  • Marketing, advertising, PR and promotions agencies should reach out to clients who haven't started yet with ideas for quick-turn promotions.
  • The rest of us should commit to supporting our local small business owners on the big day -- and as many other days as possible.

Lost in the preparation for Small Business Saturday are bigger businesses that have clients, vendors and contractors who are small businesses themselves.

What can you do if you work for or own a larger business to help your smaller peers remain successful? Here are some ideas.

A picture of Margot's parents, who were small business owners
My parents were small business owners!

5 ways larger companies can support Small Business Saturday

Here are 5 ways large companies can get in on the Small Business Saturday (SBS) hoopla:

  1. Buy an ad in the local paper, on the local radio station or on NextDoor for SBS to recognize your small business clients and partners, and to encourage other enterprises to increase their commitment to these kinds of companies. Bonus points if you send thank-you notes to them personally as well.
  2. Offer to buy ad space or creative support to help a small business with holiday or SBS promotions, or offer your social channels and website to provide promotional support.
  3. Create visual content for your social media accounts giving a shout-out to your small business clients, suppliers and partners. Don't forget sole proprietors, freelancers and contractors.
  4. Write a blog post, op-ed, LinkedIn article or radio commentary about why it's important to partner with smaller companies, highlighting one or two examples of your own; or craft short blog profiles of the small business owners you work with. Promote widely on social media. Here's an example.
  5. Amplify Small Business Saturday social media posts from your smaller clients and partners via your personal and business accounts.

Longer-Term Opportunities

While one special day is nice, small businesses need to be busy all year long to be sustainable. Here are some ways you can support small businesses year-round:

Neal's Deli catering menu
  1. Identify opportunities to funnel more work to small businesses and sole proprietors, especially in your own community, including a review of your procurement process to make it more accessible.
  2. Flag upcoming contract renewals and expand the RFP pool to include smaller companies and freelancers/contractors.
  3. Write recommendations for small business owners and their employees on LinkedIn, and make a concerted effort to refer your peers to them.
  4. Amplify social media posts from your small business clients and partners to help them increase reach.
  5. Choose locally owned restaurants for meeting and event catering, like our friends at Neal's Deli or The Open Eye Cafe.

A thriving community requires a mix of small, medium and large businesses. Small Business Saturday is the perfect time to show a little love for these enterprises and to review opportunities your company has to increase your support the other 364 days.